The Flintstones broke the bank with their previous outing on the silver screen, so it made the utmost sense to try it again with a sequel, but instead of showing what happened to the modern stone age family after the credits roll, it focused mainly on how they met, and how almost they broke apart. Rather ambitious for a sequel, but that gamble is something to expect for The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas.
We meet the young, recently graduated Fred & Barney, who are celebrating their recent jobs at Slate and Co. They meet waitresses Wilma & Betty and hit it off. they soon realise Wilma is extensible wealthy and the object of affection to Casino mogul Chip Rockefeller. At a party Wilma throws, Chip and Fred meet and get off on the wrong foot. In an effort to reconcile Chip invites the four to glittering Rock Vegas. But all is not as it appears as the seductive tentacles of the big city wrap around our protagonist.
Being a prequel, the film opted for different actors to play the younger versions of the cast. So, while it is unfortunate that the sequel couldn’t bring back both Moranis and Goodman, but their replacements Stephen Baldwin and Mark Addy do well. Rosie O’Donnell however, voices an Octopus and was quite courteous to her replacement, and Joan Collins takes over the role of Wilma’s mother after the late Elizabeth Taylor carrying on her characterisation of Wilma’s mother.
Viva Rock Vegas also delves into the more fantastical elements of the show that its predecessor toned back on. The Great Gazoo (the green alien that only Fred can see) is back, as both Alan Cumming, and the voice actor, Harvey Korman playing Wilma’s well-to-do farther. We get a cute Dino as well, he’s C.G.I, for the most part as are a lot of the special effects, making a distinct alteration from the puppetry of the 1994 film, but it allows for a more animated appearance (no pun intended). By exploring new territory that the film and previous cartoon series haven’t even looked upon manages to add more depth to the characters, the world has held dear for 40 odd years. Who knew Fred and Wilma had such an interesting courtship, or how opulent her family is? It certainly adds more to subsequent viewings of the show.
Even with a change in cast and setting, The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas still proves the franchise is fun for all the family. Maintaining the colourful and detailed sets from old film and building on the characters we love far before we met them. That’s a tall order for any blockbuster sequel, but for The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas, all bets are off.
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